There’s a camel in them there hills

Let’s play a little word association game, shall we?

If I say the word “camel,” what other words that come to mind? Perhaps ‘desert,’ or ‘caravan,’ or even ‘Aladdin.’

I’m pretty sure you aren’t going to think of Pittsburg, Cali-forn-I-A. Even though there is a camel, named Couscous, that has taken up residence there.

CBS 5 reported Wednesday the exotic creature is in fact roaming the Pittsburg hills, captivating neighbors that live near open space next to Highway 4.

Although news crews were not able to capture footage of Couscous Wednesday evening, residents and neighbors of a Villa Drive apartment complex have taken plenty of pictures of the “celebrity” camel as of late.

But this isn’t “Madagascar,” and Couscous isn’t in the Bay Area by accident. CBS 5 has been informed by an apartment complex worker that the Africa- or Asia-based animal belongs the developer of lands behind the complex.

Despite being an extremely rare sight on our side of the globe, it is not illegal to own a camel in Contra Costa County, animal welfare officials said. An exotic animal license from the State Fish & Game board could let just about anybody in the county adopt a camel. Well, maybe not anybody.

So for the time being, Couscous is going to live in his little wooden hut — workers say the owner has one set up for him — and graze along the hill in the evenings to the delight of his new Pittsburg neighbors.